Note from Editor: Students are reading Anne Allison’s book Precarious Japan, and sharing their thoughts on how their own future plans are impacted by the instability and insecurity that Allison describes.
by Katsuya Nagasawa
I am not sure that what I am going to be in the future. However, I have an ambiguous idea for my job. I want to get a stable and typical employment job. In addition to that, I never want to get a McDonaldized job, which is monotonous work. These desires sound easy, however, it is very hard to get a job which has these factors. According to Anne Allison, job hunting became hard thing because of the collapse of the bubble economy. Then, the situation of employment has gotten worse. The number of hiseikikoyo (irregular, contract) workers has increased, therefore we have to be so eager to be typical employment worker. I do not know where I will get a job, I may work at countryside, or in foreign countries. Working is important thing, however, it is not the best thing for me. I think the best thing for me in my life is to find my ibasho.
My ibasho is time or space with my family and my friends. My ibasho makes me feel free. It is needles to say that it is better to be always at my ibasho, however, most of people cannot be. I think, at least, I want to feel my ibasho in my heart. Only I know I have my ibasho, I can find joy in my life even if wherever I am. When I was just a freshman, I did not have any friends. I was depressed and sometimes thought I had no place at my university. However, I overcame this by thinking about my hometown and my friends. Then I could made friends and find my ibasho at university.
If I have an ibasho in my heart, I can make new ibasho in my new stage. I think ibasho is not only space I feel at home but also space I can go back. The more I make an ibasho, the better I can make my life. Therefore, I think I can get happy by finding at least one ibasho. However, Allison said that modern society in Japan has a problem with the number of hikikomori people increasing. I think they do not have any ibasho even their parents. This problem is related to the depressed mood of present Japan. If I could not become to feel my ibasho, I might be hikikomori. Ibasho affects my life heavily.
In conclusion, I want to get a stable job in precarious Japan, and find my ibasho there. I believe that finding ibasho makes my life better than any other thing.
Anne Allison (2013). Precarious Japan. Duke University Press. (pp. 1-42)
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